'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Stolen Huffy': Goodbye Opie, hello Nero

sons-of-anarchy-stolen-huffy.jpgOpie got a proper sendoff in a lovely sequence near the end of Tuesday's (Oct. 2) "Sons of Anarchy" -- but much of the rest of "Stolen Huffy" had its concerns elsewhere.

The episode spent just as much time with Emma Jean, the non-vice cop-calling escort played by Ashley Tisdale, as it did on Opie's funeral, a split that felt a little bit out of balance. Opie is a character "Sons" fans have loved for five years, and Emma Jean gave Clay a back rub last week.

Yes, the Emma Jean story gets us to Jax and Nero going into business together, a potentially intriguing development and a great chance to see Jimmy Smits and Charlie Hunnam work opposite one another. Their scenes together have a great vibe to them, and Nero is giving off something of a Stringer Bell vibe in the way he's becoming a mentor to Jax.

The partnership with Nero to handle the Cara Cara girls' escort work brings all kinds of potential grist for the show's plot, given the weird web already woven between Nero, Gemma, Clay, Carla and Jax, who as part of the deal tells Nero to stop seeing his mom. That feels like rich territory.

But if there's ever a time in a 13-episode season to ease up on the forward march of story, this was probably it. The club's goodbye to Opie didn't feel cursory, exactly, and again, the sequence scored to "The Lost Boy" by Greg Holden was moving. But the other business around Opie's funeral detracted from it, and that's too bad.

What did you think of "Sons of Anarchy" this week?
Photo/Video credit: FX